As an overly sensitive teenager and young adult, I listened to music during every waking minute. The songs became the soundtrack to my depressed, suicidal, and eventually alcoholic existence. I attached memories (good, bad and shameful) to the notes and lyrics, making it emotionally difficult to listen any longer. During the worst of my alcoholic drinking, I would only listen when I wanted to cry; when I wanted to punish myself and feel all of the shame and self-loathing that I was suppressing with alcohol.
While driving home today, I (on a whim) opened the music app on my phone instead of the podcast one. I pressed play, which began a pathetically short playlist of music. I had to hunt for a “fun” song, but was able to find a couple to sing along with.
It was such a long-forgotten feeling: listening to songs that I have known for years, but haven’t enjoyed in many. For that brief drive home, the depressed feelings and memories of old were not attached to the music and I was able to purely enjoy each song.
I’m excited to put a new playlist together; something I haven’t done in 2 years or more. Granted, there is nothing in my collection that is newer than 10 years old, but I’m ok with that! I’ll introduce my new way of life to the music that used to hold so much sadness.